Steamship Names Two New Vessels Aquinnah And Monomoy

Jason Graziadei •

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The Steamship Authority announced the names of its two new vessels on Tuesday.

The former offshore supply vessels that previously plied the waters of the Gulf Coast off Louisiana will now be known as the M/V Aquinnah and the M/V Monomoy when they begin their new life transporting vehicles and passengers across Nantucket Sound next year. These boats will replace the Steamship’s current freight boats, the M/V Gay Head and the M/V Katama.

The Steamship Authority acquired the two vessels for $10.3 million from a Louisiana company involved in the Gulf Coast oil and gas industry, and last month the boat line invited the public to participate in the naming contest.

More than 8,200 entries were received by the Steamship, comprising more than 9,200 name suggestions, and there were nine finalists as selected by the Steamship Authority staff for the board's consideration today:

  • M/V Noepe
  • M/V Wampanoag
  • M/V Aquinnah
  • M/V Moshup
  • M/V Menemsha
  • M/V Madaket
  • M/V Siasconset
  • M/V New Bedford
  • M/V Hyannis

“In determining the names to be included, staff was mindful of the most popular names submitted as part of the contest, the Authority’s tradition of naming vessels after regions from the Authority’s communities, and a balance of potential names from each of the five port communities,” said Steamship communications director Sean Driscoll. “Staff appreciates, but ultimately must sadly recommend rejecting, various references to Jaws that were submitted, as well as ‘Boaty McBoatface,’ ‘Ferry McFerryface,’ and ‘Steamy McSteamface’.”

The M/V Monomoy name received a number of submissions, and while it wasn't initially a finalist, it was added to the list of names under consideration following the Steamship's Port Council meeting earlier this month. Steamship board members said they appreciated the name Monomoy as it gave a nod to locations on both Nantucket and Cape Cod.

They felt the name "Aquinnah" was a fitting replacement for the M/V Gay Head.

The two vessels the Steamship has acquired - formerly known as the HOS Lode Star and the HOS Shooting Star - are expected to begin servicing Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard routes as soon as the summer of 2023. The final cost of the acquisition, including the necessary retrofitting, is expected to top $30 million.

The individuals who submitted the names chosen by the Board today will each receive a $250 Steamship gift card, as well as an opportunity to help welcome the vessels into service.

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